Greene County Habitat celebrates the completion of its newest home, built with funds from its Showcase of Homes tour –
The houses that line Union Station road in Greensboro are typically quiet in the afternoons, but on July 14, one house in particular saw an abundance of traffic.
A steep driveway led up to the home, painted in a cool blue-grey finish, with a white trim. It was obviously new. People were handing out programs for the event that was to take place inside as more cars arrived. Groups of men and women made their way up the driveway. It was a special day.
Inside the home, standing out even among the gathered crowd, was Kandice Nesbitt, the new owner. She looked nervous, as if preparing for all of the company. Her daughter Za’Niyah stood by the door, handing out programs. Her son, Zavious hid behind her to avoid attention and potential photos. The whole family was excited though, and it was easy to guess why.
This was their first real home, and Nesbitt helped build it in collaboration with Greene County Habitat for Humanity. The event was a celebration for finally completing the house.
Two years of applications and 300 hours of hard work had led to this day, according to Nesbitt.
“It was kinda hard but I got it done,” she said. “I’m very excited. I can’t wait until I actually can move in.”
Though her children appeared nervous due to all of the company in the house, Nesbitt said they were excited as well.
“They’ve been very patient and they’re very excited,” Nesbitt said.
The event went off without a hitch. Everyone was welcomed by Jan Broughton, chair of the board of directors for Greene County Habitat, and Reverend Harold Jackson of Hills Chapel Baptist Church performed an opening prayer.
Demme and Bob Pluta, the Nesbitt family’s mentors through the arduous process of building the home, gifted them a Bible. The buiders of the home, Paige and Jim Ruhl of Breambuilt Homes, provided the key to the Nesbitts.
Nesbitt then spoke, bursting into tears as she thanked everyone for everything that they had done for her family. After another round of thanks, Reverend Jackson closed on another prayer.
Days like this are special, Broughton said. Her work at Habitat hits especially close to home because of what she went through as a child, she said.
Broughton’s father passed died when she was very young and she was one of six children, she said. Much of her childhood was spent in rented homes until her mother could get back on her feet, she explained.
“I know what it feels like… to not know for sure where you’re gonna live. It’s not really your home, you can’t get settled, maybe the landlord doesn’t like you… I know what that feels like,” Broughton said.
Her experience from moving place to place at a young age made Broughton want to help families get settled, and she worked in non-profits for years, she said.
There is an unfortunate limit to what Habitat can do to help out families, though. According to Broguton, in 2019 alone 70 families went through a selection process and only four homes were built this year.
“We’re doing what we can do… but the need is huge,” she said.
That need for housing is exactly why Broughton continues to help the Habitat efforts in any way she can, she said.
“I know what it feels like for somebody to say ‘This is your house now,’” she said. “It is so rewarding for me to have any part of that.”
As for Nesbitt, her time at Habitat is not over either. She intends to keep helping others in the program as a way of paying it forward, she said.
“I’ll still be involved and help others,” Nesbitt said.